I’m lazy and I have the attention span of a chicken. Somehow I’ve managed to collect pretty diplomas (with zero debt, by the way) and I am now in the middle of getting a phd in a shiny top 10 institution. But I am still lazy and unproductive and easily distracted. I avoid challenges all the time. Sometimes I feel like I got this far academically because I was a good student so why not keep studying forever? I continue to half ass everything and get away with it by being just smart enough that people can’t tell whether I have reasonably limited abilities or if I’m just not even trying. I have a very mediocre scientific career ahead of me. I tried therapy, I tried prescription drugs, I continue being a lazy ass who would rather do literally nothing the entire day. You seem like a focused, energetic, disciplined, hard-working person who didn’t rest on being the smart kid. Are we just not made of the same thing?
We’re made of exactly the same thing. I know what you’re about, and I understand why you hunkered down in a PhD program. Your problem isn’t that you’d rather do nothing. It’s that you’ve got nothing better to do. You’re smart and bored, so you figure why not get a doctorate in self-loathing?
Obviously, you haven’t found your thing yet. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. It ain’t science, that’s for sure. I mean, yeah, you’re good at it, but you don’t give a fuck one way or the other. It’s another passionless life choice made while walking the path of least resistance.
You’re passionless, but that’s not the same thing as being lazy. You’re still showing up and getting the work done. You always will. It’s always the bare minimum, but again, I know how you think. It’s on them, not you. If someone needs to get more work out of you, all they have to do is raise the minimum expectation. You’ll meet it. That’s the deal you’ve made with yourself. That’s the great rationalization that justifies your existence.
So, stop calling yourself lazy. You’re not. You’re just smart and bored, and you’ve made the boredom a part of your identity. Don’t do that. Separate yourself from the boredom. The boredom is your enemy. I’m not saying you should run out and find something to be passionate about (you ain’t there yet), but at the very least, stop acting like the boredom is an inevitability. It’s not.